Compass Health Center to Launch Enhanced Summer Creative Arts Intensive Outpatient Program


Creative Arts Therapies Help Children & Teens Improve Mental Health Post-Covid Pandemic



CHICAGO, IL / ACCESSWIRE / March 14, 2023 / As the world continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, children and adolescents have been particularly impacted. Many have missed years of connection and social experience, leaving them with anxiety surrounding peer connections and social interaction and a lack of social skills and awareness. To help close these gaps left by the pandemic, creative arts therapies are a fun, expressive, and effective way to address these issues. To meet this need, Compass Health Center is launching a specialized Summer Creative Arts Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) this June for children and adolescents struggling with behavioral health challenges.

According to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 20% of children and young people ages 3-17 in the United States have a mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorder. Suicidal behaviors among high school students increased by more than 40% in the decade before 2019, and these trends were exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compass’s Summer Creative Arts IOP program will be available in person at the Chicago, Oak Brook, and Northbrook centers and virtually throughout all of Illinois. Art, recreation, and other experiential therapies offer a fun way for children and teens to gain the skills necessary to navigate the lack of structure during the summer months while preparing them for the start of the next school year.

“The creative arts therapies offer an invaluable opportunity for one to express their inner experience in a non-traditional way. For many of our patients, it is difficult to find words to express themselves accurately. These creative arts therapies help patients share their emotions and experiences in a way that feels more familiar, comfortable, and safe,” said Rachel Couture, MA, Drama Therapy, Creative Arts Therapist, Child and Adolescent Programs, Compass Health Center - Chicago. “With so much disruption caused by the pandemic, it’s important that we provide our youth with a safe space to process their experiences in a positive way.”

The use of creative arts therapies for mental health has been gaining traction in recent years due to its proven effectiveness. These types of therapies can include art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, dance movement therapy, improv, yoga, and recreation. Each type of therapy provides an opportunity for children and adolescents to express themselves in a safe setting without fear of judgment.

For example, in art therapy, participants may work on projects like drawing or painting which allow them to express themselves through colors and shapes in ways that are not possible through language alone. Music therapy offers an opportunity for clients to explore emotions through sound while also developing important communication skills such as active listening. Drama therapy incorporates role-playing activities which allow participants to explore different identities while building self-awareness and empathy toward others. Dance movement therapy combines physical movement with music to encourage self-expression and creativity while also increasing body awareness and mindfulness practices.

At Compass, each type of creative arts therapy is tailored specifically to meet each participant’s needs to ensure effective treatment outcomes. Through these therapies, children and adolescents can build confidence in their ability to express themselves creatively while learning valuable skills such as problem-solving and emotional regulation.

*Update: Compass Health Center’s Summer Session 2024, featuring Creative Arts Programming, will run from June through August. 

2024 Program Details:

  • Illinois Dates: 6/10/2024 – 8/16/2024   
  • Maryland Dates: 6/17/2024 – 8/23/2024  
  • Ages: Children (8-13) & Teens (13-18) 
  • Levels: PHP & IOP 
  • Locations: Illinois: Northbrook, Oak Brook, Chicago | Maryland: Silver Spring | Virtual

Learn more here.


Press release published initially in AP News.

Contact Information:
Britt Teasdale
Associate Director, Brand Management, Compass Health Center
Phone 216-926-0550

Brittney Teasdale

Associate Director of Brand Management